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PROJECT REPORT

ON
PROBLEMS OF FARMERS IN CURRENT SCENARIO.

MASTER OF COMMERCE
(2015-2016)
SUBMITTED BY
MAYURI .N. KARANDE
ROLL NO: 20

SK SOMAIYA COLLEGE OF ARTS SCIENCE


AND COMMERCE
1

VIDYAVIHAR (EAST)

S.K SOMAIYA COLLEGE OF ARTS SCIENCE AND


COMMERCE
VIDYAVIHAR (E)

CERTIFICATE

(2014-2015)
This is to certify that MISS MAYURI .N. KARANDE. ROLL NO: 20 of M.com(II)
(2015-2016) has successfully completed the project on PROBLEMS OF FARMERS IN

CURRENT SCENARIO.

under the guidance of RAVIKANT SANGURDE.

DATE:
PLACE: MUMBAI

........................................
3

(Dr. Sangeeta Kohli)


Principal

.
(RAVIKANT SANGURDE.)

...
EXTERNAL EXAMINER

Project Guide

DECLARATION BY STUDENT

I MAYURI .N. KARANDE, ROLL NO: 20 the student of M.Com (II) (Accounting)
(2015-2016) hereby declares that I have completed the project on

PROBLEMS

OF FARMERS IN CURRENT SCENARIO.

successfully.

The information submitted is true and original to the best of my knowledge.

Thank you,

Yours sincerely,
Mayuri N. Karande
Roll no: 20

ACKNOWLEDGEMENT

I would like to thank all the people who helped me in undertaking the study and completing the
project, by imparting me with valuable information and guidance that was required at every stage
of my project.

I would like to thank our Principal Dr Sangeeta Kohli and and Course Co-ordinate, for giving me
opportunity and encouragement to prepare the project.

Last but not the least I would like to thank my project guide RAVIKANT SANGURDE. guiding
and helping me through out the presentation of my project right from the selection of the topic
till its completion.

INDEX
SR NO.

CONTENT

1.

INTRODUCTION

2.

PROBLEMS OF FARMERS

3.

SOLUTION ON PROBLEMS OF FARMERS


6

4.

CANALS IRRIGATION IN INDIA

5.

PROBLEMS OF CANALS IN MAHARASHTRA

6.

CASE STUDY

7.

BIBLIOGRAPHY

INTRODUCTION
Agriculture plays a vital role in Indias economy. Over 58 per cent of the rural households
depend on agriculture as their principal means of livelihood. Agriculture, along with fisheries
and forestry, is one of the largest contributors to the GDP.
As per estimates by the Central Statistics Office (CSO), the share of agriculture and allied sectors
(including agriculture, livestock, forestry and fishery) was 16.1 per cent of the Gross Value
Added (GVA) during 201415 at 201112 prices.
The country is the largest producer, consumer and exporter of spices and spice products. It ranks
third in farm and agriculture outputs. Agricultural export constitutes 10 per cent of the countrys
exports and is the fourth-largest exported principal commodity. The agro industry in India is

divided into several subsegments such as canned, dairy, processed, frozen food to fisheries, meat,
poultry, and food grains.
The Department of Agriculture and Cooperation under the Ministry of Agriculture is responsible
for the development of the agriculture sector in India. It manages several other bodies, such as
the National Dairy Development Board (NDDB), to develop other allied agricultural sectors.
Market Size
Over the recent past, multiple factors have worked together to facilitate growth in the agriculture
sector in India. These include growth in household income and consumption, expansion in the
food processing sector and increase in agricultural exports. Rising private participation in Indian
agriculture, growing organic farming and using information technology are some of the key
trends in the agriculture industry.
As per the 3rd Advance Estimates, food grain production is estimated at 251.12 million tonnes
(MT) for 2014-15. With an annual output of 138 MT, India is the largest producer of milk. It also
has the largest bovine population.
India is the largest producer and importer of pulses at 19.0 MT and 3.4 MT, respectively.
India, the second-largest producer of sugar, accounts for 14 per cent of the global output. It is the
sixth-largest exporter of sugar, accounting for 2.76 per cent of the global exports.
Spice exports from India are expected to reach US$ 3 billion by 201617 due to creative
marketing strategies, innovative packaging, strength in quality and strong distribution networks.
The spices market in India is valued at Rs 40,000 crore (US$ 6.42 billion) annually, of which the
branded segment accounts for 15 per cent.
The procurement target for rice during marketing season (MS) 201415 has been finalised as
35.10 MT.
Investments
Several players have invested in the agricultural sector in India, mainly driven by the
governments initiatives and schemes.
According to the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP), the Indian agricultural
services and agricultural machinery sectors have cumulatively attracted foreign direct investment
(FDI) equity inflow of about US$ 2,182 million from April 2000 to May 2015.
Some major investments and developments in agriculture in the recent past are as follows:
Rabo Equity Advisors, the private equity arm of Netherlands-based Rabo Group, raised
US$ 100 million for the first close of its second fund India Agri Business Fund II. The
fund plans to invest US$ 1517 million in 1012 companies.
Oman India Joint Investment Fund (OIJIF), a joint venture (JV) between the State Bank
of India (SBI) and State General Reserve Fund (SGRF), invested Rs 95 crore (US$ 15.25
million) in GSP Crop Science, a Gujarat-based agrochemicals company.
The world's seventh-largest agrochemicals firm, Israel-based ADAMA Agrochemicals
plans to invest at least US$ 50 million in India over the next three years.
Belgium-based Univeg recently collaborated with Mahindra & Mahindra to develop a
fresh fruit supply chain.
Companies from the US, Canada, Australia, Israel, the Netherlands and other European
countries have shown strong interest to transfer the best practices, linkages between
scientific institutes, agriculture storage, cold-chain management, market access, and
productivity enhancement such as the introduction of new technology in seed and plant
biotech.
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Canada-based International Food Security Research Fund has major investments in food
security research in several Indian universities. These strengthen food-processing and
sustainable agricultural techniques.
Government Initiatives
Given the importance of the agriculture sector, the Government of India, in its Budget 201516,
planned several steps for the sustainable development of agriculture. The government has already
taken steps to address two major factors (soil and water) critical to improve agriculture
production. Steps have been taken to improve soil fertility on a sustainable basis through the soil
health card scheme and to support the organic farming scheme Paramparagat Krishi Vikas
Yojana. Other steps include improved access to irrigation through Pradhanmantri Gram Sinchai
Yojana; enhanced water efficiency through `Per Drop More Crop; continued support to
MGNREGA and the creation of a unified national agriculture market to boost the incomes of
farmers.
The central government recognises the importance of microirrigation, watershed development
and Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchai Yojana; thus, it allocated a sum of Rs 5,300 crore (US$ 830
million) for it. It urged the states to focus on this key sector. The state governments are
compelled to allocate adequate funds to develop the agriculture sector, take measures to achieve
the targeted agricultural growth rate and address the problems of farmers.
The Department of Agriculture and Cooperation under the Ministry of Agriculture has inked
MOUs/agreements with 52 countries including the US. In addition, the Department of
Agriculture Research & Education (DARE) and the Department of Animal Husbandry, Dairying
& Fisheries (DAHD&F) under the Ministry of Agriculture have signed MOUs/agreements with
other countries, taking the number of partnerships with other countries to 63. These agreements
would provide better agricultural facilities in areas such as research and development, capacity
building, germ-plasm exchange, post-harvest management, value addition/food processing, plant
protection, animal husbandry, dairy and fisheries. The agreements could help enhance bilateral
trade as well.
Given the correlation between improvement in agriculture and the development of the country,
the Government of India adopted several initiatives and programmes to ensure continuous
growth. It allocated Rs 25,000 crore (US$ 3.9 billion) for the Rural Infrastructure Development
Fund (RIFD), Rs 1,500 crore (US$ 234 million) for the long-term rural credit fund, Rs 45,000
crore (US$ 7.03 billion) for the short-term cooperative rural credit finance fund and Rs 25,000
crore (US$ 3.9 billion) for the short-term RRB refinance fund. It also marked an ambitious target
of Rs 8.5 lakh crore (US$ 132 billion) of agriculture credit during 201516.
Some of the recent major government initiatives in the sector are as follows:
The National Dairy Development Board (NDDB) announced 42 dairy projects with a
financial outlay of Rs 221 crore (US$ 35.47 million) to boost milk output and increase
per animal production of milk.
The government planned to invest Rs 50,000 crore (US$ 8.0 billion) to revive four
fertiliser plants and set up two plants to produce farm nutrients.
The Ministry of Food Processing Industries took some new initiatives to develop the
food-processing sector that would enhance the income of farmers and export of agro and
processed foods, among others.
Israel increased contribution to Indian agriculture and helped farmers multiply their
income with better practices and yields. It also helped choose the right crops or
vegetables to make this a success story, which is strengthening bilateral ties.
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The Government of Telangana allocated Rs 4,250 crore (US$ 682.31 million) for the first
phase of the farm loan waiver scheme. The scheme is expected to benefit 3.6 million
farmers who took loans of Rs 100,000 (~US$ 1,600) or below before March 31, 2014.
Road Ahead
The agriculture sector in India is expected to generate better momentum in the next few years
due to increased investments in agricultural infrastructure such as irrigation facilities,
warehousing and cold storage. Factors such as reduced transaction costs and time, improved port
gate management and better fiscal incentives would contribute to the sectors growth.
Furthermore, the growing use of genetically modified crops will likely improve the yield for
Indian farmers.
The 12th Five-Year Plan estimates the foodgrains storage capacity to expand to 35 MT. Also, a 4
per cent growth would help restructure the agriculture sector in India in the next few years.
Exchange rate used: INR1= US$ 0.016 as of July 8, 2015

What are the biggest problems faced by farmers in India? What problems can be solved through use of
technology?
With increasing affordability and use of technology in India, how can we solve a farmer's
problems?
To what extent are these problems related to electricity?
Agricultural sector employs more than 50% of India's population and contributes to only 14% of
the GDP. This indicates the drastic inequality in terms of earning when compared to urban
population who are mostly employed in either manufacturing or service sectors. With such high
votes falling in this domain, no government can ignore their demands or solutions to their
sufferings. Various governments in Centre and State have changed over the last 65 years without
solving the crux of the problem faced by these farmers.
The issues faced by the farming community are as follows:
1. Literacy - Lack of quality education and schools has resulted in this community to depend on
traditional means of agriculture and less exposure to scientific methods of cultivation.
2. Banking - Failures in better regulation of banks and policies to ensure financial inclusion of
this community has led them to depend on local moneylenders who charge exorbitant interest
charges and risk of losing their lands to these wealth hungry class.
3. Insurance - Traditionally farmers pray to the almighty to mitigate the risk rather than opting
for crop insurances. Lack of knowledge and banking has still kept them in the dark. Less than
2% of the farming community is covered under insurance.
4. Sustainable Agricultural Practices - Indiscriminate use of highly subsidized fertilizers has
made the land infertile and reduced productivity. Also MSP - Minimum support prices for only
selected crops has pushed the entire farming community to grow only these crops and thereby
not allowing the market forces to decide the prices. MSPs have discouraged farmers from
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exploring integrated farming and other crops which is sustainable for their location.
5. Marketing - With different APMC acts in different states, lack of clarity on the prices set by
these agencies, high lobbying capacity of the middlemen has resulted in exploitation of farmers
and crops not fetching the right price.
6. Storage and Warehouses - Due to short shelf life of fruits and vegetables, there is a high
requirement of cold storages and warehouses to have a stable price and quantity across the year.
With very few and poorly managed warehouses, the government lacks the main tool for
controlling inflation and also giving a fair price to the harvest. Such uncertainties discourage
farming.
7. Alternate source of Income - Many of the tillers are landless and lack skills for employment at
the time of draught or periods between sowing & harvest.
8. Irrigation - 65% of the agricultural lands depend on rains for irrigation even today. Risk of
failure of crops is high due to both heavy as well as lower rainfall. Again with indiscriminate use
of underground water has depleted the resource
9. Size of Land- with 95% of the farmers of the land owning less than a hectare, cost of farming
is high with lesser productivity.
Given such a plethora of problems, a single solution wouldn't be feasible to solve all miseries
faced by the community. The government needs to have smarter measures to encourage
integrated farming, cooperative & contract farming, adoption for crop insurance with quicker
claim settlements, application of new scientific means of cultivation, more efficient direct and
indirect banks with lesser cost ( both process and economically ) of availing loans focused to
farming community, water shed development, transparent and efficient agricultural markets,
improved connectivity from farm to markets, modern storage and warehouses etc
Successive governments have well identified the problems along with solution but have failed in
implementing the solutions in an efficient and fair manner.

First of all, the major problems are:


1. Small and fragmented land-holdings:
The seemingly abundance of net sown area of 141.2 million hectares and total cropped area of
189.7 million hectares (1999-2000) pales into insignificance when we see that it is divided into
economically unviable small and scattered holdings.
The average size of holdings was 2.28 hectares in 1970-71 which was reduced to 1.82 hectares in
1980-81 and 1.50 hectares in 1995-96. The size of the holdings will further decrease with the
infinite Sub-division of the land holdings.

2. Seeds:
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Seed is a critical and basic input for attaining higher crop yields and sustained growth in
agricultural production. Distribution of assured quality seed is as critical as the production of
such seeds. Unfortunately, good quality seeds are out of reach of the majority of farmers,
especially small and marginal farmers mainly because of exorbitant prices of better seeds.

3. Manures, Fertilizers and Biocides:


Indian soils have been used for growing crops over thousands of years without caring much for
replenishing. This has led to depletion and exhaustion of soils resulting in their low productivity.
The average yields of almost all the crops are among t e lowest in the world. This is a serious
problem which can be solved by using more manures and fertilizers.

4. Irrigation:
Although India is the second largest irrigated country of the world after China, only one-third of
the cropped area is under irrigation. Irrigation is the most important agricultural input in a
tropical monsoon country like India where rainfall is uncertain, unreliable and erratic India
cannot achieve sustained progress in agriculture unless and until more than half of the cropped
area is brought under assured irrigation.

5. Lack of mechanisation:
In spite of the large scale mechanisation of agriculture in some parts of the country, most of the
agricultural operations in larger parts are carried on by human hand using simple and
conventional tools and implements like wooden plough, sickle, etc.

6. Soil erosion:
Large tracts of fertile land suffer from soil erosion by wind and water. This area must be properly
treated and restored to its original fertility.

7. Agricultural Marketing:
Agricultural marketing still continues to be in a bad shape in rural India. In the absence of sound
marketing facilities, the farmers have to depend upon local traders and middlemen for the
disposal of their farm produce which is sold at throw-away price.

8. Scarcity of capital:
Agriculture is an important industry and like all other industries it also requires capital. The role
of capital input is becoming more and more important with the advancement of farm technology.
Since the agriculturists capital is locked up in his lands and stocks, he is obliged to borrow
money for stimulating the tempo of agricultural production.

Now, the use of technology can be effectively done in various manners in order to help out
farmers. Such as:

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1.

Direct transfer of capital by the government to the farmers which has already got initiated
by our PM NaMo under the Jan Dhan Yojna.

2.

Agricultural Marketing through means of modern technology like mobile phones will be
another step forward.

3.

Educating farmers about techniques to avoid soil erosion and increasing harvests through
means of using suitable fertilisers by reaching out to them through means of advanced
technology will also be a big step forward.

Main thing is fresh water, monsoon dependance. Need for efficient water management systems
in farms. Today you will find fields without any storage facilities. There is lot of scope for
systems and tools that you are mentioning - Remote control based or Timer based water valves
for sprinklers or drip control. Sensors to control pilferage.
Most of the agriculturists are city dwellers and farmers do their trial and errors in rural areas,
they learn on the job, father to son skill transfer. So if you see practices that were centuries old
are still preserved.
farmers facing so many problemsand giving food to the society. one is unfavourable and adverse
of` prakruti` which cannot solve by the himself and the govt`second one is his own creative exa
depending everything on others blindly third one is creating problems by others taking adventage
of his financial and innocency fourth one is corruption of govt officers who are taking public
moneyand meant for serve and solve the problems by educating the farmers, politians are talking
sweet but their actions are completely reverse, farmers are having more and more problems than
other sectors but they are solving their problems easely by fighting unitedly. to solve the
problems of the farmers is only one` sarvaroganivarana` is forming of associations at village and
mandal/tauka,district and state level without caste and religion region and political party,officers
and leaders have to work as social worker to the welfare of the farmer because he is suppling to
the society with so many problems by working day and night in the fields.buerocrats are
formulating at state and central lewel many programmes with crores of roopies decently sitting in
ac rooms with out studying villagelevel situations,politians not having time to think about the
farmers with that public is wasting and incriesing the corruption at every level,after getting the
independence 65 years the farmer is spending his hard money to get simple one paper from govt
office,it is shameful to evry person of politician and public servant from villagelevel to national
level.

The farmer question: 6 main problems of Indian agriculture and 9 solutions to


fix them

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Compiled by Nandini Voice for The Deprived

For a country which has the capacity to produce three crops in a year, the ceaseless cases of
farmer suicides are an ignominious fact. The statics of the deaths are so high that there is nothing
personal or moving left in them. Death count of a disaster raises more sympathy than the suicides
of the Indian farmers. It has become more of a factor to lash the ruling party by the opposition
than a warning sign to actually do something.
However, not all are insensitive to the agrarian plight. Nandini Voice for The Deprived , a
Chennai based NGO organised an All India Essay Competition for the citizens on How
to prevent farmers suicides in India? to look critically into the issue.
Here are some reasons and a few solutions to the problem as suggested by the participants in
the competition.

Problems of Indian agriculture1. Agriculture is unorganized activity today

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Indian agriculture is largely an unorganized sector. No systematic institutional and organizational


planning is involved in cultivation, irrigation, harvesting etc.
Institutional finances are not adequately available and minimum purchase price fixed by the
government do not reach the poorest farmer.

2. Most farms are small and economically unfeasible


The ground reality is that majority of the farmers in India own as little as two acres of land.
Cultivation on such small area is not economically feasible. Such small farmers have become
vulnerable.
In many cases, the farmers are not even the owners of the land, which makes profitable
cultivation impossible because significant portion of the earnings go towards the payment of
lease for the land.

3. Middlemen and economic exploitation of farmers


Exploitation by the middlemen is the reason put forth for not getting the best price for the
produce of the agriculturists.
The government should promote the plan called ulavar santhai (Farmers Market), where
the farmers can directly sell their products at reasonable price to the consumers.

4. Government program do not reach small farmers


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Government has implemented agricultural debt. waiver and debt. relief scheme in 2008 to benefit
over 36 million farmers. Direct agricultural loan to stressed farmers under so calledKisan credit
Card were also covered under this scheme.
However, most of the subsidies and welfare schemes announced by the Central and State
governments do not reach the poor farmers. On the contrary, only big land lords are benefited by
those schemes.

5. High indebtedness and exorbitant interest rates


The root cause of farmers taking their lives is the increase in their indebtedness and debt burden.
Exorbitant interest rates have to be declared illegal and the government has to take strict
measures against greedy money lenders.
Easy access to institutional credits have to reach the small and marginal farmers, without
cumbersome procedures.

6. Real estate mafia


We can see even fertile land best suited for agricultural purpose being sold to real estate people,
who prepare plots and give attractive advertisements to sell at exorbitant price. There is need to
implement strict measures to prevent land grabbing.

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Solutions to the problem-

1. Multiple crops
Cultivation of multi crops such as coconut, turmeric, pine apple, banana, apple, papaya, ginger
will yield profitable results to the farmers.

2. Special agricultural zone


Just like industrial zone, there is an urgent need to establish special agricultural zones, where
only farming and agriculture related activity should be allowed.

3. Need to modernize agriculture


By introducing farm techniques which guarantee a definite success, an increase in youth
participation on agricultural fields is economically possible. This can be attained only by
implementing new technologies. Research efforts should continue for the production of crops
with higher yield potential and better resistance to pests.
Technological advancement in agriculture should be passed down to the small farmers.

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Where the existing crops would not do well under drought and weather conditions,
the farmers should be helped to shift to cultivating crops that would be easy and economical to
cultivate.

4. Educate the farmers


Many farmers in India are not aware of crop rotation. Though education in urban areas has
improved a lot, the government has ignored the same in rural areas in general and in agriculture
sector in particular. This is the reason why farmers are not adequately aware of the various
schemes provided by the government.

5. Clubbing of small fields may help


Several farmers who own small piece of land can join together and combine all small fields into
one large chunk. This may help in variety of ways.

6. Need for meaningful crop insurance policies


Crop insurance is must and the claim should be settled easily under the supervision of the district
collectors.

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Traditional crop insurance depends on the direct measurement of the damage suffered by a
farmer to determine his/her payout. However, field loss assessment is often not feasible or
expensive, since most of our farmers are small holders.
Index based insurance, on the other hand, responds to defined parameter.
Index based insurance has the advantages that it is transparent and all the insurers within the
defined geographical area are treated equally. It has low operational and transnational costs,
while also ensuring quick payouts.

7. .Need for better water management


Irrigation facilities that are currently available do not cover the entire cultivable land. Apart from
the areas where perennial rivers flow, most of the agricultural fields do not have irrigation
facility.
In most cases, it is not the lack of water but the lack of proper water management that causes
water shortage. Improved modern methods of rain water harvesting should be developed.
Water management can be made more effective through interstate co-operation on water
resources, where surplus water from perennial rivers can be diverted to the needy areas.
Connecting the rivers throughout the country will solve this problem. Construction of National
Waterways will improve the irrigation facility, which in turn can save the farmers, if the
monsoon would fail.

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8. Alternate source of income for farmers


Small farmers should be encouraged to develop alternative sources of income and the
government should take up the responsibility for providing training to the farmers to acquire new
skills.
In drought affected areas, the government should start alternative employment generation
programs to reduce the dependence on agriculture as the sole source of income. Such programs
should be standardized.
Farmers should be enabled to divide their activities into three parts. One for regular crop
production, one for animal husbandry or fisheries and another for timber production. These
activities complement each other and also alternate sources of income of farmers can be ensured.

9. Need for national weather risk management system/disease alert system


Facilitating national weather risk management system that alerts farmers when there is a danger
of extreme weather, would go a long way in reducing losses in agriculture.
Value added services like pest and disease alert applications, in combination with the weather
forecast would equip the farmers to handle and manage their crops better.
For example, Water Watch Cooperative, a Netherlands based organization, has developed a
disease alert system that sends an alarm to farmers, if probability of a pest/disease would be
detected.
Similarly, system that detect the amount of water to be provided to a field based on the field
water content, biomass and rainfall probability, would aid in optimization of water provision to
the crop and ensure efficient crop management.

India's Agriculture Development Problem: Lack of Access to Credit


India's Agriculture Development Problem: Lack of Access to Credit is one of the most pressing
issues that hinder Indias rural population from progress is the lack of access
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to credit. Farmers suicide within the agricultural sector does not occur as a shocking matter as
these poor citizens are deprived of monetary assistance when they are most in need.[1]
A farmers's cries for help have been ignored as the damaging effects from the absence of credit
loans tickles down the population. Apart from the healthcare of a farmer, the lack of access to
credit also highly important as almost 80% the farmers own less than a hectare of land. The
availability of credit allows farmers to be protected from the inflated costs faced
in agriculture and also, improve the quality of fertilizers and hence the output. Should the
distribution of credit loans improve, the Indian government would also find it easy to meet
production targets and have a better control over prices of grains. Due to the critical shortage of
agricultural output, India has to resort to banning grain exports and instead, drive up
its import bills from wheat coming into the country. There has been so much attention focused on
the industrial and services sector that the agricultural side has been largely neglected. [2] The lack
of credit loans coupled with improper government intervention had resulted in the livelihood of
the farmers to go downhill.
As commercial banks are not present in remote locations of India, where agriculture is supposed
to thrive, it becomes an important limitation as the rural population has a strong dependence on
it.[3] Co-operative banks which have been set up previously were also doomed to fail as a result
of bad loans and a lack of funds. These commercial banks have their own set of worries, as
defaults and crop failures are common in the sector. As such, they prefer lending out to areas
where each farmer owns a much larger proportion of land and also, have
better irrigation systems.[4]

India: Issues and Priorities for Agriculture

Overview
While agricultures share in Indias economy has progressively declined to less than 15% due to
the high growth rates of the industrial and services sectors, the sectors importance in Indias
economic and social fabric goes well beyond this indicator. First, nearly three-quarters of Indias
families depend on rural incomes. Second, the majority of Indias poor (some 770 million people
or about 70 percent) are found in rural areas. And third, Indias food security depends on
producing cereal crops, as well as increasing its production of fruits, vegetables and milk to meet

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the demands of a growing population with rising incomes. To do so, a productive, competitive,
diversified and sustainable agricultural sector will need to emerge at an accelerated pace.
India is a global agricultural powerhouse. It is the worlds largest producer of milk, pulses, and
spices, and has the worlds largest cattle herd (buffaloes), as well as the largest area under wheat,
rice and cotton. It is the second largest producer of rice, wheat, cotton, sugarcane, farmed fish,
sheep & goat meat, fruit, vegetables and tea. The country has some 195 m ha under cultivation of
which some 63 percent are rainfed (roughly 125m ha) while 37 percent are irrigated (70m ha). In
addition, forests cover some 65m ha of Indias land.

CHALLENGES
Three agriculture sector challenges will be important to Indias overall development and the
improved welfare of its rural poor:
1. Raising agricultural productivity per unit of land: Raising productivity per unit of land will
need to be the main engine of agricultural growth as virtually all cultivable land is farmed. Water
resources are also limited and water for irrigation must contend with increasing industrial and
urban needs. All measures to increase productivity will need exploiting, amongst them:
increasing yields, diversification to higher value crops, and developing value chains to reduce
marketing costs.
2. Reducing rural poverty through a socially inclusive strategy that comprises both agriculture as
well as non-farm employment: Rural development must also benefit the poor, landless, women,
scheduled castes and tribes. Moreover, there are strong regional disparities: the majority of
Indias poor are in rain-fed areas or in the Eastern Indo-Gangetic plains. Reaching such groups
has not been easy. While progress has been made - the rural population classified as poor fell
from nearly 40% in the early 1990s to below 30% by the mid-2000s (about a 1% fall per year)
there is a clear need for a faster reduction. Hence, poverty alleviation is a central pillar of the
rural development efforts of the Government and the World Bank.
3. Ensuring that agricultural growth responds to food security needs: The sharp rise in food-grain
production during Indias Green Revolution of the 1970s enabled the country to achieve selfsufficiency in food-grains and stave off the threat of famine. Agricultural intensification in the
1970s to 1980s saw an increased demand for rural labor that raised rural wages and, together
with declining food prices, reduced rural poverty. However agricultural growth in the 1990s and
2000s slowed down, averaging about 3.5% per annum, and cereal yields have increased by only
22

1.4% per annum in the 2000s. The slow-down in agricultural growth has become a major cause
for concern. Indias rice yields are one-third of Chinas and about half of those in Vietnam and
Indonesia. The same is true for most other agricultural commodities.
Policy makers will thus need to initiate and/or conclude policy actions and public programs to
shift the sector away from the existing policy and institutional regime that appears to be no
longer viable and build a solid foundation for a much more productive, internationally
competitive, and diversified agricultural sector.

Priority Areas for Support

1. Enhancing agricultural productivity, competitiveness, and rural


growth
Promoting new technologies and reforming agricultural research and extension: Major reform
and strengthening of Indias agricultural research and extension systems is one of the most
important needs for agricultural growth. These services have declined over time due to chronic
underfunding of infrastructure and operations, no replacement of aging researchers or broad
access to state-of-the-art technologies. Research now has little to provide beyond the time-worn
packages of the past. Public extension services are struggling and offer little new knowledge to
farmers. There is too little connection between research and extension, or between these services
and the private sector.
Improving Water Resources and Irrigation/Drainage Management: Agriculture is Indias largest
user of water. However, increasing competition for water between industry, domestic use and
agriculture has highlighted the need to plan and manage water on a river basin and multi-sectoral
basis. As urban and other demands multiply, less water is likely to be available for irrigation.
Ways to radically enhance the productivity of irrigation (more crop per drop) need to be found.
Piped conveyance, better on-farm management of water, and use of more efficient delivery
mechanisms such as drip irrigation are among the actions that could be taken. There is also a
need to manage as opposed to exploit the use of groundwater. Incentives to pump less water such
as levying electricity charges or community monitoring of use have not yet succeeded beyond
sporadic initiatives. Other key priorities include: (i) modernizing Irrigation and Drainage
23

Departments to integrate the participation of farmers and other agencies in managing irrigation
water; (ii) improving cost recovery; (iii) rationalizing public expenditures, with priority to
completing schemes with the highest returns; and (iv) allocating sufficient resources for
operations and maintenance for the sustainability of investments.
Facilitating agricultural diversification to higher-value commodities: Encouraging farmers
todiversify to higher value commodities will be a significant factor for higher agricultural
growth, particularly in rain-fed areas where poverty is high. Moreover, considerable potential
exists for expanding agro-processing and building competitive value chains from producers to
urban centers and export markets. While diversification initiatives should be left to farmers and
entrepreneurs, the Government can, first and foremost, liberalize constraints to marketing,
transport, export and processing. It can also play a small regulatory role, taking due care that this
does not become an impediment.
Promoting high growth commodities: Some agricultural sub-sectors have particularly high
potential for expansion, notably dairy. The livestock sector, primarily due to dairy, contributes
over a quarter of agricultural GDP and is a source of income for 70% of Indias rural families,
mostly those who are poor and headed by women. Growth in milk production, at about 4% per
annum, has been brisk, but future domestic demand is expected to grow by at least 5% per
annum. Milk production is constrained, however, by the poor genetic quality of cows, inadequate
nutrients, inaccessible veterinary care, and other factors. A targeted program to tackle these
constraints could boost production and have good impact on poverty.
Developing markets, agricultural credit and public expenditures: Indias legacy of extensive
government involvement in agricultural marketing has created restrictions in internal and
external trade, resulting in cumbersome and high-cost marketing and transport options for
agricultural commodities. Even so, private sector investment in marketing, value chains and
agro-processing is growing, but much slower than potential. While some restrictions are being
lifted, considerably more needs to be done to enable diversification and minimize consumer
prices. Improving access to rural finance for farmers is another need as it remains difficult for
farmers to get credit. Moreover, subsidies on power, fertilizers and irrigation have progressively
come to dominate Government expenditures on the sector, and are now four times larger than
investment expenditures, crowding out top priorities such as agricultural research and extension.

2. Poverty alleviation and community actions

24

While agricultural growth will, in itself, provide the base for increasing incomes, for the 170
million or so rural persons that are below the poverty line, additional measures are required to
make this growth inclusive. For instance, a rural livelihoods program that empowers
communities to become self-reliant has been found to be particularly effective and well-suited
for scaling-up. This program promotes the formation of self-help groups, increases community
savings, and promotes local initiatives to increase incomes and employment. By federating to
become larger entities, these institutions of the poor gain the strength to negotiate better prices
and market access for their products, and also gain the political power over local governments to
provide them with better technical and social services. These self-help groups are particularly
effective at reaching women and impoverished families.

3. Sustaining the environment and future agricultural productivity


In parts of India, the over-pumping of water for agricultural use is leading to falling groundwater
levels. Conversely, water-logging is leading to the build-up of salts in the soils of some irrigated
areas. In rain-fed areas on the other hand, where the majority of the rural population live,
agricultural practices need adapting to reduce soil erosion and increase the absorption of rainfall.
Overexploited and degrading forest land need mitigation measures. There are proven solutions to
nearly all of these problems. The most comprehensive is through watershed management
programs, where communities engage in land planning and adopt agricultural practices that
protect soils, increase water absorption and raise productivity through higher yields and crop
diversification. At issue, however, is how to scale up such initiatives to cover larger areas of the
country. Climate change must also be considered. More extreme events droughts, floods,
erratic rains are expected and would have greatest impact in rain-fed areas. The watershed
program, allied with initiatives from agricultural research and extension, may be the most suited
agricultural program for promoting new varieties of crops and improved farm practices. But
other thrusts, such as the livelihoods program and development of off-farm employment may
also be key.
World Bank Support
With some $5.5 billion in net commitments from both IDA and IBRD, and 24 ongoing projects,
the World Banks agriculture and rural development program in India is by far the Banks largest
such program worldwide in absolute dollar terms. This figure is even higher when investments in
rural development such as rural roads, rural finance and human development are included.
Nonetheless, this amount is relatively small when compared with the Governments - both
25

central and state - funding of public programs in support of agriculture. Most of the Banks
agriculture and rural development assistance is geared towards state-level support, but some also
takes place at the national level.
The Banks Agricultural and Rural Development portfolio is clustered across three broad themes
with each project, generally, showing a significant integration of these themes.
Agriculture, watershed and natural resources management
Water & irrigated agriculture
Rural livelihood development
Over the past five to ten years, the Bank has been supporting:
R&D in Agricultural Technology through two national level projects with pan-India
implementation (the National Agriculture Technology Project and the National Agriculture
Innovation Project) coordinated by the Government of Indias Indian Council for Agricultural
Research (ICAR).
Dissemination of Agricultural Technology: New approaches towards the dissemination of
agricultural technology such as the Agriculture Technology Management Agency (ATMA) model
have contributed to diversification of agricultural production in Assam and Uttar Pradesh. This
extension approach is now being scaled-up across India.
Better delivery of irrigation water: World Bank support for the better delivery of irrigation water
ranges from projects covering large irrigation infrastructure to local tanks and ponds. Projects
also support the strengthening of water institutions in several states (Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka,
Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, Uttar Pradesh) improved groundwater management
practices (for instance, in the upcoming Rajasthan Agriculture Competitiveness Project).
Sustainable agricultural practices through watershed and rainfed agriculture development
(Karnataka, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand), soil reclamation efforts (Uttar Pradesh) and, more
recently, improved groundwater management practices (for instance, in the upcoming Rajasthan
Agriculture Competitiveness Project).
Improved access to rural credit and greater gender involvement in rural economic activities
through rural livelihood initiatives undertaken by a number of states (Andhra Pradesh, Bihar,
26

Madhya Pradesh, Orissa, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu) and soon to be scaled up by GOI with Bank
support through a National Rural Livelihood Mission.
Agricultural insurance by advising GOI on how to improve the actuarial design and
implementation of the insurance program (e.g. rating methodology and product design, index
insurance, use of mobile and remote sensing technology to measure yields, etc.).
Improved farmer access to agriculture markets through policy reforms and investments under the
Maharashtra Agricultural Competitiveness Project which aims to reform regulated wholesale
markets and provide farmers with alternative market opportunities.
The land policy agenda through analytical work as well as non-lending technical assistance in
support of GOIs National Land Records Modernization Program.
Better rural connectivity through IDA support to the Prime Ministers National Rural Roads
Program (PMGSY), and by connecting rural poor and smallholder farmers through collective
action to public services through Self-Help Groups (and SHG federations), Water User
Associations and Farmer Producer Organizations. Recently the Banks Board of Executive
Directors approved the National Rural Livelihood Mission, which supports SHG approaches
through a pan-India approach.
There should be better banking systems established that is accessible and affordable to every
person. It is obvious that the benefits of economic growth have not been equally shared among
all as the access to credit is not granted to all. Economic opportunities ought to be created for the
marginalized groups to help in poverty reduction and inequality problems. Further attempts made
by the government to expand credit loans have ironically resulted in more cases of poverty than
ever. The lack of access to formal credit thus places many constraints on agricultural output and
also, the standards of living for the rural population thereby hindering their path to further
economic and social development.
How to solve the problems of India's rain-dependent agricultural land
It's that time of the year when Kishore Lal Singh's eyes almost involuntarily scan the skies. The
monsoons are coming. In the months ahead, for this Bhil farmer growing cotton, maize and soya
south of the Malwa plateau in Madhya Pradesh, life will again hang on a knife's edge. If it rains
well, his two bighas (about four basketball courts) of cotton will yield 1,000 kg. If not, he will
get no more than 100 kg. Not enough to even recover costs.
Chintaman Chowdhury, another farmer in Malwa, explains the economics of agriculture. With
27

two crops a year, the maximum annual income a farmer who plants soya and wheat can expect is
about Rs 20,000 per acre if the rains are normal. In his village, one in three farmers has less
than two acres, and about 58% farm between two and five acres. It is a picture of poverty. And
even this is further threatened by a crisis that is growing by the day. It's the same story across
India. Water availability can make a pronounced difference to agricultural output and standard of
living. Areas fed by canals fare better than those that rely on rains. Unfortunately, such irrigated
areas account for only 40% of India's net sown area.
The remaining 60%, which accounts for a substantial part of agricultural output, is raindependent. Today, farmers in rain-dependent areas are being pushed against a wall. The Green
Revolution was designed around growing high-yielding varieties of wheat and rice, which
needed plenty of water and chemical inputs. "The entire agricultural research framework,
incentive structure, price support, input subsidies, extension system were designed to 'flow' along
with irrigation," says A Ravindra Babu, director, Watershed Support Services and Activities
Network (WASSAN ), a non-governmental organisation working on dryland agriculture.
Over time, even farmers in unirrigated areas cobbled together their own water supply - mostly
through groundwater - and switched to the green revolution framework. But now, as groundwater
levels collapse, agricultural soils weaken and rainfall gets erratic, the green revolution seems to
have run its course in these unirrigated areas.
The Green Revolution...
This dilemma is acutest in regions that don't receive adequate rainfall. Rain-dependent areas can
be broadly split into two: 'drylands' , which receive less than 750 mm of rain a year; and rainfed
areas, which receive more than 750 mm. Comprising arid and semi-arid ecosystems, drylands
stretch from Gujarat in the west till Eastern Madhya Pradesh; and from Rajasthan till the
southern tip of IndiaTo reduce their vulnerability to rains, farmers here used to grow jowar, bajra
and pulses. While low-yielding, such crops were less affected by variations in rainfall. It was a
'safe' existence. Farmers invested little in their fields. Why invest if returns are uncertain? In the
same field, they planted multiple crops.
For instance, Jowar or pulses, both drought-resistant, would be planted alongside wheat, which
gave high yields in normal rains. They also maintained livestock or, if forests were in the
vicinity, gathered minor forest produce. The green revolution came in the sixties. Tasked with
ensuring food security, it pushed high-yielding varieties (HYVs) of wheat and rice over jowar,
bajra et alIt began in the floodplains of the north. Where, as canals came up, farmers, realising
rainfall risk was a thing of the past, switched to HYVs. In the drylands, the story evolved
differently. The green revolution came here in bits and pieces. The seeds and fertilisers reached.
So did the exhortations to farmers to adopt 'modern' farming. What did not reach was water.
Predictable water supply is something the farmers created for themselves. When electricity came,

28

they invested in groundwater pump ..


What followed was transformative. In Malwa (MP), for instance, till the early-1970 s, farmers
grew jowar during the rains and Malwi Ghehu , a local wheat variety, after that. Once the pumps
came in, farming became a yearlong activity. Cash crops like soya displaced jowar. HYVs of
wheat displaced Malwi Ghehu. Below the Malwa plateau, the same set of changes played out
more recently, as groundwater pumps came just eight years ago. has been the mainstay of
addition to irrigation resources.
According to a Planning Commission report, titled 'Synopsis of Groundwater Resources in India'
, by Himanshu Kulkarni , P.S. Vijay Shankar and Sunderajan Krishnan, in 1960-61 , canals and
tanks accounted for 61% of non-rain water for irrigation, compared to 0.6% for tube wells. In
2002-03, the share of canals and tanks was down to 33%, while tube wells had increased to 39%.
"Of the addition to irrigated area of 25.7 million hectares between 1970 and 2000, groundwater
accounted for over 85%. At present, about 61% of the irrigation is from groundwater," says the
report. That story is now beginning to wind down, jeopardising the shift made by farmers in
dryland areas and raising serious livelihood and food-security issues.
..is Winding Down
In parts of Malwa, for example, groundwater levels have plunged from 50 ft in the 1970s to 700
ft now. The Planning Commission study, which is an unnerving read, says the crisis is acute in
six states. As per the study, if the ratio of groundwater extraction to groundwater recharge is less
than 70%, it is considered safe; 70-90 %, semicritical; 90-100 %, critical; and more than 100%,
overexploited. Between 1995 and 2004, the proportion of districts in semi-critical, critical and
over-exploited has grown from 5% of the agricultural area and 7% of the population to 33% and
35%
respectively.
The report says that the "level of groundwater extraction is unsustainable" in Punjab, Rajasthan
and Haryana; and that Tamil Nadu, Gujarat and UP are "fast approaching that stage" . These six
states accounted for half the foodgrain production in 2008-09. There are other problems. Soils
are weakening. Badhia Naval Singh farms 8 bighas at Mansinghpura village in Bagli tehsil.
Earlier, he says, if he pulled out a tuft of grass, he would see earthworms in the soil. " Dikhaye
dena ab band ho gaye hain (They do not show up anymore)," he says. Imbalanced fertiliser use
is skewing the chemical composition of soils, which are hardening and retaining less moisture.
Says the 11th five-year plan document: "Nearly two-thirds of our farmlands are either degraded
or sick.
Rainfall itself is becoming more and more unpredictable. While talking to Shagan Sanaf Chotu, a
larger farmer in Mansinghpura, it suddenly starts raining, quite heavily. It is the middle of May.
"But it never rains in May," says Chotu. Even as all this changes, hedging across livelihoods is
29

less feasible now. The green revolution increased yields partly by shortening plants' height. This
reduced fodder for livestock. Encroachments into village commons have reduced grazing spaces
for cattle. As forests retreated, villagers traditionally dependent on minor forest produce have one
less fallback option. In all, farmers have no option but to invest in agriculture to keep their heads
above
water
even
though
it
now
yields
diminishing
returns.
Two years ago, Singh borrowed Rs 1 lakh for a tube well. Since the local bank doesn't lend for
tube wells, he borrowed from fellow villagers, at 36% interest. "It will take us five years to repay
this loan," his wife says acerbically. "Till then, we will live on mirchi roti." What will exacerbate
matters is climate change, whose worst sufferers are expected to be India's drylands and subSaharan Africa. The question is: how does one equip dryland farmers to deal with heightened
weather and rainfall risk without pushing them back to the low risk, low output subsistence trap?

Canals Irrigation in India

Canals Irrigation in India: Get information about the canals of 1. Uttar Pradesh 2. Punjab 3.
Haryana 4. Andhra Pradesh 5. Bihar 6. West Bengal 7. Rajasthan 8. Madhya Pradesh and
Chhattisgarh 9. Orissa 10. Karnataka 11. Tamil Nadu 12. Maharashtra 13. Gujarat
Canals used to be the most important source of irrigation up-to 1960s, but in the 1970s they
yielded first place to wells and tube wells and now constitute the second most important source
of irrigation in India.
The percentage of canal irrigation area to total irrigated area in the country has fallen from about
39.77 per cent in 1950-51 to 29 per cent in 2000-01.
Canals can be an effective source of irrigation in areas of low level relief, deep fertile soils,
perrenial source of water and extensive command area. Therefore, the main concentration of
canal irrigation is in the northern plain of India, especially the areas comprising Uttar Pradesh
Haryana and Punjab.

30

The digging of canals in rocky and uneven areas is difficult and uneconomic. Thus the canals are
practically absent from the Peninsular plateau area. However, the coastal and the delta regions in
South India do have some canals for irrigation.
Broadly speaking, canals in India are of two types, viz., (i) inundation canals, which are taken
out from the rivers without any regulating system like weirs etc. at their head. Such canals
provide irrigation mainly in the rainy season when the river is in flood and there is excess water.
When the rainy season is over, the flood in the river subsides, the level of water falls below the
level of the canal head and the canal dries up. Some canals taken off from the Satluj in Punjab
were of this type. Since irrigation from this type of canals is uncertain, they have been converted
in perennial canals. (ii) Perennial Canals are those which are taken off from perennial rivers by
constructing a barrage across the river. Most of the canals in India today are perennial.

31

The net area under canal irrigation is about 15.8 million hectares. The main canal irrigated areas
are in the northern plains of India where Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Haryana, Rajasthan and Bihar
account for about 60 per cent of the canal irrigated area of the country. In south and central India,
Andhra Pradesh, Maharasthra, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Orissa and Tamil
Nadu are important states of canal irrigation (Table 17.4).

1. Uttar Pradesh:
Canals constitute an important source of irrigation in Uttar Pradesh. The state is drained by
perennial rivers originating in the snow covered Himalayan ranges and is blessed with fertile
soils. But the amount of rainfall, especially in western parts of the state, is not sufficient for
sustained agricultural growth.
Therefore, a large number of canals have been constructed to provide regular supply of sufficient
water to the crops. Uttar Pradesh has about 3,091 thousand hectares under canal irrigation which
is 30.91 per cent of the total canal irrigated area of the country. Over one-fourth of the net
irrigated area of the state is irrigated by canals. Following are the main canals.
1. Upper Ganga Canal:
This canal takes off from the Ganga at Kankhal (Haridwar). The construction of this canal
commenced in 1842 and completed in 1854. The main canal is 342 km long while the length of
its distributaries is about 6,200 km. During the first 32 km of its course, between Haridwar and
Roorkee, it passes through a broken country so that at some places it is taken over the rivers and
at others below the rivers.
It irrigates about 7 lakh hectares of land in the upper part of the Ganga-Yamuna Doab. Districts
of Saharanpur, Meerut, Ghaziabad, Bulandshahar, Aligarh, Mathura, Etah, Kanpur, Mainpuri,
Farrukhabad and Fatehpur get benefit from this canal. Its main branches are Devbandh,
Anupshahar, Motta and Hathras. It joins with the Lower Ganga Canal at Mainpuri and the water
in this canal is considerably increased. Further beyond, these two canals flow separately.

32

2. Lower Ganga Canal:


This canal was taken from the Ganga near Narora (Bulandshahar) in 1878. The length of the
canal including its distributaries is about 6000 km. Its main branches are Etawah, Kanpur and
Fatehpur. It irrigates about 4.6 lakh hectares in the districts of Bulandshahar, Farrukhabad,
Mainpuri, Aligarh, Etah, Etawah, Fatehpur, Kanpur and Allahabad.

3. Sharda Canal:
As its name indicates, this canal is taken from the Sharda River at Banbasa near the Indo-Nepal
border. The construction work on this canal was completed in 1928. The total length of the main
canal and its distributaries is 13,624 km. It is thus one of the longest canal systems of the world.
This canal system irrigates about eight lakh hectares of land mainly in Allahabad, Sultanpur,
Pilibhit, Bareilly, Hardoi, Shahjahanpur, Sitapur, Lucknow, Barabanki, Rai Bareli, Unnao,
Partapgarh and Kheri, districts.

33

4. Eastern Yamuna Canal:


It takes off from the river Yamuna at Faizabad. It was constructed in 1831. The main canal and
its distributaries cover a distance of 1,450 km and irrigate about 2 lakh hectares of land in the
districts of Saharanpur, Muzaffarnagar, Meerut and Ghaziabad. It again joins the Yamuna River
at Delhi and irrigates a part of the union territory also.
5. Agra Canal:
This canal is taken from the right bank of the Yamuna at Okhla (Delhi). It was built in 1874 and
irrigates about 1.5 lakh hectares in Agra and Mathura in U.P., Faridabad in Haryana, Bharatpur in
Ra jasthan and also parts of union territory of Delhi.
6. Betwa Canal:
Built in the Third Five Year Plan, this canal takes off from the Betwa River about 56 km southwest of Jhansi. It irrigates about 1.2 lakh hectares in Jhansi, Jalaun and Hamirpur districts.
Apart from the above mentioned major canals, some other canals such as Ken, Chambal, Dhasan
and Son canal also irrigate some areas in the southern part of Uttar Pradesh.

2. Punjab:
In early days, canal irrigation accounted for about 39-14 per cent of the total irrigated area in
Punjab but the share of canal irrigation fell down to less than 19 per cent in 2000-01. Following
are some of 1 the important canals of Punjab.
1. Upper Bari Doab Canal:
This canal is taken from the Ravi River at Madhopur near Pathankot. Construction of this canal
started in 1849 and completed in 1859. It irrigates about 3 lakh hectares in Gurdaspur and
Amritsar districts.

34

2. Sirhind Canal:
This canal was taken from the Satluj River at Rupnagar (Ropar) in the year 1886-87. The total
length of the canal along with its distributaries is 6,115 km. Its main branches are the Patiala,
Abohar, Bhatinda, Kotla and Ghaggar. It irrigates about 7 lakh hectares in Patiala, Sangrur,
Bhatinda, Ludhiana and Ferozepur districts.
The Kotla and the Ghaggar branches provide irrigation to Hissar, Sirsa and Fatehabad districts of
Haryana also. In order to augment the supply of water, the Sirhind Feeder Canal was completed
in 1960. It takes off from the Ferozepur Feeder at its 18th km at Malanwala.
It is 142 km long and supplies water to Abohar branch of the Sirhind Canal. This water is drawn
from the Satluj and Beas rivers which used to go unused to Pakistan. It also provides irrigation to
Ferozepur, Faridkot and Muktsar districts in Punjab and to some parts of Rajasthan.
3. Bhakra Canal:
It draws water from the Bhakra dam built across the Satluj River. It was completed in 1954. It
irrigates a vast area of about 15 lakh hectares in Punjab, Haryana and Rajasthan. In Punjab,
Ludhiana, Patiala, Sangrur, Jalandhar, and Ferozepur districts are benefited by this canal.

35

4. Bist Doab Canal:


It is a part of the Bhakra-Nangal Project. The total length of this canal along with its
distributaries is 1,090 km. It irrigates about 4 lakh hectares in Jalandhar and Hoshiarpur districts.
Bikaner and Beas are other projects which provide irrigation to parts of Punjab and the
neighbouring states of Haryana and Rajasthan.

3. Haryana:
Haryana depends upon canal irrigation for its agricultural prosperity to a great extent. About 4989 per cent of the irrigated area in Haryana is irrigated by canals. This is the second highest percentage for any state after Chhattisgarh. Following are the main canals.
1. The Western Yamuna Canal:
It takes off from the right bank of the Yamuna at Tajewala. It was built by Feroze Shah Tughlak.
The total length of the canal along with its distributaries is 3,200 km and it irrigates about 4 lakh

36

hectares in Ambala, Kurukshetra, Kamal, Panipat, Rohtak, Hissar, Sirsa, Faridabad and Jind
districts. Its important branches are, the Delhi, the Hansi and the Sirsa branch.

2. Bhakra Canal:
After irrigating Punjab areas, the Bhakra canal enters Haryana near Tohana and irrigates large
parts of Hissar, Fatehabad and Sirsa districts. Its main branches are the Fatehabad, the Ratia, the
Rori, the Barwala and the Tohana branch.
3. Jui Canal:
This is a lift irrigation scheme designed to irrigate the semi-desert region of Bhiwani and
adjoining areas. This 169 km long canal irrigates about 32 thousand hectares.

37

4. Gurgaon Canal:
It takes off from the Yamuna at Okhla in Delhi. Started in 1970, this canal irrigates 1.2 lakh
hectares in Gurgaon and Faridabad districts.
4. Andhra Pradesh:
With 1,649 thousand hectares under canal irrigation i.e. 10.31% of the total canal irrigated area
of India, Andhra Pradesh is next only to Uttar Pradesh and tops in South India in so far as area
under canal irrigation is concerned.
Canal irrigation accounts for about 36-42 per cent of the net irrigated area of the state. The major
canals of Andhra Pradesh are taken off from the Krishna, the Godavari and the Tungabhadra
rivers and the major canal irrigated areas are in the deltas and the coastal regions.
The Godavari delta project comprises of two weirs the Dowlaiswaram and the Ralli, which
were completed in 1846. From these, right bank canal and the delta canal have been taken to
irrigate about 4.5 lakh hectares. The Krishna delta project comprises Vijayawada anicut.
Sunkesula anicut across the Krishna and the Tungabhadra irrigates about 4.5 lakh hectares.
The Kurnool-Cuddapah canal was taken off from the Tungabhadra in 1816. It irrigates about 1.2
lakh hectares in Kumool and Cuddappah districts. The Nagarjunasagar Project consists of a dam
across the Krishna River in Nalgonda district from where two canals have been taken off.
The right bank canal is 204 km long and irrigates 6.7 lakh hectares in Guntur, Nalgonda, Kumool
and Krishna districts. The left bank canal is 171 km long and irrigates 3.56 lakh hectares in
Khammam, Krishna and West Godavari districts.

5. Bihar:
Rainfall in several parts of Bihar is inadequate, unreliable and uncertain leading to severe and
frequent droughts. This has made canal irrigation an important part of agricultural practice in
Bihar. Canal irrigation accounts for over 31 per cent of the total area of the state.

38

1. Sone Canals:
The Eastern Sone Canal was taken from the Sone River at Varun in 1857. This 130 km long
canal irrigates 2-5 lakh hectares in Patna and Gaya clistricts. The Western Sone Canal has been
taken from this river at Dehri. It provides irrigation to Shahabad district.
2. Kosi Canals:
Two canals known as the Eastern and the Western Kosi Canal have been taken * from the eastern
and the western banks of the river respectively by constructing a multipurpose dam near the
Indo-Nepal border. These two canals have the irrigation potential of 4-5 and 3-5 lakh hectares
respectively. Pumea, Muzaffarpur, Darbhanga, Champaran and Saran districts are benefited by
this project. Besides, 4 lakh hectares are irrigated in Nepal.
3. Gandak Canals:
A 743 metre long dam has been built across the Gandak at Balmiki Nagar from where two canals
have been taken off. The eastern canal is called Tirhut. It is 250 km long and irrigates about 7
lakh hectares in Champaran, Darbhanga, and Muzaffarpur districts.
The western canal is known as Saran Canal and irrigates 7-6 hectares of Saran district of Bihar
and Deoria and Gorakhpur districts of Uttar Pradesh. Another Triveni Canal has been taken from
Triveni to irrigate about one lakh hectares of Champaran district.

6. West Bengal:
Although most parts of West Bengal receive sufficient rainfall and do not require irrigation, still
some parts of the state do feel the necessity of irrigation. More than one third of the net irrigated
area is irrigated by canals. The Mayurakshi project was completed in 1951 at Tilpara.
Two canals have been taken from this project to irrigate large areas in Bir Bhum, Murshidabad
and Bardhaman districts. The main canal from the Kaugsabati completed in 1965 irrigates 1.2
lakh hectares in Bankura and Midnapur districts.

39

The canals from the Damodar Valley Corporation irrigate over five lakh hectares in West Bengal.
The 520 km long Midnapur Canal has been taken off from the Kosi at Midnapur and irrigates
about ten thousand hectares.

7. Rajasthan:
Most of Rajasthan is a desert area and largely depends upon irrigation for successful growth of
crops. Canals form an important section of irrigation and account for about 27.6 per cent of the
net irrigated area of the state.
1. Indira Gandhi Canal:
This canal originates from Harike Barrage near the confluence of Satluj and Beas rivers in
Ferozepur district of Punjab. The plan for this canal was prepared in 1957-58 and the work on
this project started on 31st March 1958. The canal does not do any irrigation in Punjab and is
known as Rajasthan Feeder.
The total length of Rajasthan Feeder is 204 km. The main canal is 40 metres wide at bottom and
6.4 metres deep. The carrying capacity of canal is 18,500 cusecs of water at its head. According
to a proposal in 1981, Rajasthan was allocated 8.6 million acre feet of Ravi-Beas surplus water.
The Indira Gandhi Canal envisages the utilisation of 7.6 million acre feet of water allocated to
Rajasthan.
The head of the main canal is located near Masitanwali in Hanumangarh district. The tail of the
445 km long main canal is located near Mohangarh in Jaisalmer district. The Command Area of
the canal is further extended till Gadra Road in Barmer district, through Sagarmal Gopa branch.
Construction work of the project is being carried out in two stages. Water was released in the
main canal on 11 October 1967 and reached its tail on January 1987. The main canal has two
kinds of branches and distributaries. The right bank branches of the canal are flow channels as
the land west of the main channels slopes down gently towards Pakistan border.

40

The left bank branches except Rawatsar Branch which takes off from the head of the main canal,
are lift channels. This is because of the fact that area towards the south-east of the main canal
slopes towards the canal and water is to be lifted against the slope of the land.

Stage I:
Construction work of Stage I has been completed at a cost of Rs. 246 crore. It included the
construction of 204 kms long feeder, 189 kms of the main canal and 2,960 kms long distribution
system. Stage I has five flow branches and one lift canal covering south and south-western part
of Ganganagar district and north and north-western parts of Bikaner district.
Nearly 4.79 lakh hectares of land is provided with flow irrigation and 0.46 lakh hectares get lift
irrigation. The irrigation potential on full development will be 5.78 lakh hectares. The project
41

plan of Stage I envisages intensive irrigation with an irrigation intensity of 110%. Irrigation
intensity is expressed as percentage ratio between gross irrigated area and culturable command
area of the project.
The above facilities will lead to annual food production of 14.50 lakh tonnes.
Stage II:
The construction work on Stage II is still in progress although it was to be completed in 1978
according to its original plan. At the current rates, it will cost Rs. 1,420 crore. Stage II of the
project includes the construction of 256 km long main canal and 4,800 km long distributaries.
According to the revised plan, this stage will provide extensive irrigation.
Extensive irrigation means reducing per acre allowance of water and providing irrigation to
maximum cultivated area. Irrigation intensity of this region is 80% that amounts to provide
irrigation to 80% of cultivable command area. This will prevent water-logging and soil-salinity
and help in growing light irrigated crops.
Stage II proposes to develop irrigated pastures on an area of about 3.66 lakh hectares. This would
help in providing benefits of irrigation to aboriginal nomadic communities, develop animal
husbandry and arrest desertification. This stage of the project envisages to provide flow irrigation
to seven lakh hectares and lift irrigation to 3.12 lakh hectares of land. This will lead to annual
food production of 22.50 lakh tonnes (see Table 17.4).
2. Chambal Project:
This is a joint venture of Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh. Under this project, Gandhi Sagar Dam
has been constructed. Canals taken off from this dam irrigate about 5.15 lakh hectares in
Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh. In the second stage, Rana Partap Dam has been constructed
which provides irrigation to 1.2 lakh hectares. In the third stage Jawahar Sagar Dam has been
constructed.

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3. The Gang or Bikaner Canal:


It was taken off from the river Satluj at Husainwala in 1928. This canal is a blood transfusion
from the living Punjab into the moribund marusthal. It provides irrigation to about 3.4 lakh
hectares in Bikaner division. The total length of this canal system is 1,280 km.
The other canal irrigation projects of Rajasthan include Jawai project on the Jawai river, Parbati
project near Dhaulpur, Gudha project in Bundi District, Ghaggar canal, Pichuna Canal, Banas
Canal, Bharatpur Canal and Urmila Canal. The Bhakra Canal also irrigates about 2.3 lakh
hectares in Rajasthan.

8. Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh:


The unevem surface, rocky structure and limited fertile soil have not encouraged the construction
of canals and canals irrigation is not much important, keeping in view the size of these two
states. However, a few canal systems have come up.
Consequently 68.9 per cent of the net irrigated area in Chhattisgarh and 19.49 per cent of the net
irrigated area in Madhya Pradesh is under canal irrigation. Most of the canal irrigated area is in
Gwalior, Bhind and Morena districts.
The Chambal project provides irrigation to about 2.83 lakh hectares in these districts. The
Weinganga canal takes off from the Weinganga River and irrigates 4,000 hectares of land in
Balaghat and Seoni districts. Besides it provides irrigation to Bhandara district of Maharashtra.
The Barna project involves the construction of a barrage across the Barna River (a tributary of
the Narmada).
Canal taken out from this barrage irrigate about 64,400 hectares of land in Raisen district. The
Tawa project canals originate from the barrage constructed across the Tawa River, and irrigate
about 3 lakh hectares of land in Hoshangabad district. The Mahanadi canal takes off from
Mahanadi River at Rudri in Raipur district. A subsidiary reservoir has been built at Maramsilli.
The length of the main canal and distributaries is 215 km and 1,175 km respectively. It irrigates
about 3 lakh hectares. The Tandula canal takes off from the confluence of the Tandula and Sukha
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rivers by building two separate earthen dams. It irrigates about 1.1 lakh hectares in Raipur and
Durg districts.

9. Orissa:
Canals irrigate about 878 thousand hectares of land which is nearly 25% of the net irrigated area
of the state. Canals taken off from the Hirakud dam on the Mahanadi form a major irrigation
network and provide irrigation to about 2.4 lakh hectares in Bolangir and Sambalpur districts.
The 3,650 km long canal system in the Mahanadi delta region provides irrigation to about 4 lakh
hectares in Cuttack and Puri districts. Taldanda Canal irrigates 62 thousand hectares in Mahanadi
catchment area.

10. Karnataka:
Over 36.5 per cent of the net irrigated area in Karnataka is irrigated by canals. The Ghatprabha
valley scheme developed on the Ghatprabha River is the most important irrigation project and
irrigates about 3.2 lakh hectares in Belgaum and Bijapur districts. Canals of the Tungbhadra
project irrigate about 2.7 lakh hectares in Bellary and Raichur districts.
The canals of Malprabha project irrigate about one lakh hectares in Belgaum, Dharwar and
Bijapur districts and those of Bhadra Project also irrigate one lakh hectares in Shimoga district.
The Visveswaraya Canal taken off from the Krishndraja Sagar Dam at the Cauvery irrigates
about 50 thousand hectares in Mysore and Mandya districts.
11. Tamil Nadu:
Tamil Nadu has about 29 per cent of its net irrigated area under canal irrigation. The most
important canal system lies in the Cauvery delta where 6,400 km long canals irrigate about 4
lakh hectares in Thanjavur and Tiruchchirapalli districts.
The Mettur Canal system of the Mettur dam on the Cauvery River irrigates about 1.2 lakh
hectares in Salem and Tiruchchirapalli districts. The Lower Bhawani Project canal system

44

irrigates about 79 thousand hectares in Coimbatore district. Parambikulam Aliyar and


Manimuthar are other projects.

12. Maharashtra:
Over 35 per cent of the net irrigated area in Maharashtra is irrigated by canals. Over 3,000 km
long canals irrigate over 4 lakh hectares. The right bank and the left bank canals of the Mutha
Project across Mutha River (a tributary of the Bhima River) at Khadakvasla irrigate about 45
thousand hectares in Pune district besides providing potable water to Pune and Kirkee.
The canals of the Nira project irrigateover 66 thousand hectares in Pune, Satara and Solapur
districts. Two canals taken out of the Godavari a Darana dam irrigate about 27 thousand hectares
in Nashik and Ahmednagar districts Canals taken out from Gangapur dam at Godavari irrigate 33
thousand hectares in Nashik district. The take off from Bhandardara masonary dam at Pravara
River. Both the left bank and the right bank canals irrigate about 34 thousand hectares in
Ahmednagar.
The Tapi canal system is a joint venture of Maharashtra and Gujarat and irrigates about 3 lakh
hectares. The other irrigation canals are those of Mula, Vir, Puma, Gima, Jayakawadi, Wama, etc.
Some other projects are at different stages of their completion.

13. Gujarat:
Mahi project stage I and II is designed to irrigate over 2 lakh hectares in Kheda and Panchmahals
districts Canals of Ukai project on the Tapi river irrigate over one lakh hectares. The other
important irrigation projects of Gujarat are Rudramala, Ozat, Dantiwada, Panam and Kaprapara.
Merits of Canal Irrigation:
1. Most of the canals provide perennial irrigation and supply water as and when needed. This
saves the crops from drought conditions and helps in increasing the farm production.
2. Canals carry a lot of sediment brought down by the rivers. This sediment is deposited in the
agricultural fields which add to the fertility of soil.
45

3. Some of the canals are parts of multipurpose projects and, therefore, provide cheap source of
irrigation.
4. Although the initial cost involved in canal irrigation is much higher, it is quite cheap in the
long run.
Demerits of Canal Irrigation:
1. The canal water soaks into the ground and leads to the problem of water-logging along the
canal route.
2 Excessive flow of water in the fields raises the ground water level. Capillary action brings
alkaline salts to the surface and makes large areas unfit for agriculture. Vast areas in Panjab,
Haryana and Uttar Pradesh suffer from the problem of reh caused by canal irrigation. About
36,000 hectares have been rendered useless in Nira Valley of Maharashtra due to high
concentration of salts in the soil resulting from canal irrigation.
3. The marshy areas near the canals act as breeding grounds of mosquitoes which result in
widespread malaria.
4. Many canals overflow during rainy season and flood the surrounding areas.
5. Canal irrigation is suitable in plain areas only.

The Indira Gandhi Canal is one of the largest canal projects in India. It starts from the Harike
Barrage at Firozpur, a few kilometers below the confluence of the Satluj and Beas rivers in the
Indian state of Punjab and terminates in irrigation facilities in the Thar Desert in the north west
of Rajasthan state. Previously known as the Rajasthan Canal, it was renamed the Indira Gandhi
Canal in 1985 following the assassination of Prime Minister Indira Gandhi. The canal consists of
the Rajasthan feeder canal with the first 167 kilometres (104 mi) in Punjab and Haryana state and
a further 37 kilometres (23 mi) in Rajasthan followed by the 445 kilometres (277 mi) of the
Rajasthan main canal, which is entirely within Rajasthan. The canal enters Haryana from Punjab
46

nearLohgarh village then runs through the western part of the Sirsa district before entering
Rajasthan near Kharakhera village in the Tibbi tehsil of the Hanumangarh district. The canal
traverses seven districts of Rajasthan: Barmer, Bikaner, Churu, Hanumangarh, Jaisalmer,
Jodhpur, and Sriganganagar.

Sunset over the canal


Design and Construction
The idea of bringing the waters from the Himalayan Rivers flowing through Punjaband
into Pakistan was conceived by an hydraulic engineer, Kanwar Sain in the late 1940s who
proposed that 2 million hectares of desert land in Bikaner and the northwest corner
of Jaisalmer could be brought under irrigation from the stored waters of Punjab rivers. In
1957, Indus Water Treaty was signed between India and Pakistan which gave India the right to
use waters of three rivers Satluj, Beas andRavi. The proposed Rajasthan Canal envisaged use
of 7.6 million acre feet of water.
The initial plan was to build the canal in two stages, Stage I consisting of 204 km feeder canal
from Harike barrage in Punjab. Stage I also included constructing distributary canal system of
about 2950 km in length. The stage II involved construction of 256 km long main canal and
47

distributary canal network of 3600 km. It was planned that the main canal will be 140 ft (42.5 m)
wide at the top and 116 ft (35.3 m) wide at the bottom with water depth of 21 ft. (6.4 m). The
canal was scheduled to be completed by 1971.
The stage I could not be completed in time due to severe financial constraints, neglect and
corruption. In 1970 the plan was revised and it was decided that the entire canal will be lined
with concrete tiles. Five more lift schemes were added. Flow command of stage II was increased
by 1,00,000 hectares. With increased requirements, the total length of main, feeder and
distribution canals was about 9245 km. The stage I was completed in 1983 around 20 years
behind the completion scheduleThe Green revolution in Rajasthan[

a photo from a bridge near village Lohgarh(district:-Sirsa),where Indira Gandhi Canal enters
from Punjab into Haryana

Rajasthan Canal(Indira Gandhi Canal) passing through Thar desert near Chhatargarh Bikaner
district,Rajasthan
After the construction of the Indira Gandhi Canal, irrigation facilities were available over an area
of 6770 km in Jaisalmer district and 37 km in Barmerdistrict.Irrigation had already been
48

provided in an area of 3670 km in Jaisalmer district. The canal has transformed the barren
deserts of this district into rich and lush fields. Crops of mustard, cotton, and wheat now flourish
in this semi-arid north-western region replacing the sand there previously. +=
Improvement in living standard

Rajasthan Canal(Indira Gandhi Canal) flowing in Thar desert near Sattasar village, Bikaner
district,Rajasthan
Besides providing water for agriculture, the canal will supply drinking water to hundreds of
people in far-flung areas.
As the second stage of work on the canal progresses rapidly, there is hope that it will enhance the
living standards of the people of the state.
Sand dune stabilization[edit]
The Indira Gandhi Canal is a major step in reclaiming the Thar Desert and checking
desertification of fertile areas. There is a planting programme for greening the desert in areas
near the Indira Gandhi Canal which was started in 1965. This consists of the planting of shelter
belts along roads and canals, blocks of plantations and sand dune stabilization. The tree species
being

used

for

planting

are Dalbergia

sissoo, Eucalyptus

tereticornis, Eucalyptus

camaldulensis, Morus alba, Tecomella undulata, Acacia tortilis, Azadirachta indica, Albizia
lebbeck, Cassia fistula, Populus ciliata, Melia azedarach, and Vachellia nilotica.
Environmental problems.

49

The excessive irrigation and intensification of agriculture over the years has
caused environmental degradation and creation of new wastelands. There
have been problems with water-logging caused by excessive irrigation,
seepage from canals and poor drainage. These factors produced a rise in the
water table, increased salinity and finally submergence of the land. These
problems have been exacerbated by the cultivation of water intensive cash
crops such as wheat and rice.
Water Sector in Maharashtra: Infrastructure & Governance
Posted on October 21, 2013 by SANDRP
2 Comments

Introduction
A typical irrigation project comprises of dam, reservoir, main canal,
distributaries, minors, sub minors, field channels & farms. Components from
reservoir to minors/sub minors are termed as Irrigation Main System [IMS].
The main purpose of IMS is to store & convey water to irrigation outlets. IMS,
at present, is up-stream controlled, manually operated, mostly open channel
system. Water Governance of projects critically depends upon IMS. Good
governance of irrigation projects is practically impossible without compatible

50

physical system & adequate legal support. This paper makes an attempt to
highlight this basic fact with particular reference to M&MIP in Maharashtra.
Water Resources Development in Maharashtra Water sector in Maharashtra is
passing through a difficult period. Following exposure of the irrigation scam
in 2012, the Maharashtra Government had to publish white paper on
irrigation. But that created more problems. Appointment of Special
Investigation Team (SIT) further aggravated the controversy. Several public
interest litigations have been filed. Investigation by CBI is being demanded.
And opposition political parties have been keeping the issue alive in
legislative council & assembly. The message is loud & clear. Water
Governance is conspicuous by its absence.

One of the several incomplete Lift Irrigation schemes in Vidarbha,


Maharashtra. Courtesy: Wikipedia
Issues that have become controversial are listed below & they do
substantiate the absence of water governance.
1)

Validity of water availability certificates

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2)

Completion of irrigation projects in the truest sense of the

term
3)

Accurate, credible figures of Created Irrigation Potential

(CIP)
4)

Reduction in CIP

5)

Truth about Actual Irrigated Area (AIA)

Present Scenario of Water Management in Maharashtra: The present


scenario of water management in irrigation projects in the State is
equally disturbing . Cropping pattern dominated by perennial & hot
weather crops, inefficient water use, illegal lift irrigation schemes, diversion
of water from irrigation to non-irrigation, absence of water & crop area
measurement and non implementation of water laws are some of the
important challenges before water governance.

Infrastructural

Constraints Water

governance

demands

compatible

infrastructure. Infrastructure, in irrigation sector, includes reservoirs, canals


& distribution network (DISNET), that is, mainly Irrigation Main System (IMS).
Better the IMS better will be the water governance. IMS comprises of
earthwork, structures & measuring devices. Earthwork & structures help
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store & convey water. Gated structures, in addition, facilitate control &
regulation of water. Measuring devices, measure water & make possible
other three most important & basic things of water governance, namely,
monitoring, evaluation & water audit. Control, regulation & measurement
together create Water Control Situation (WCS).WCS facilitates water level& discharge- control which is the heart of canal operation. WCS, at least in
Maharashtra, is largely conspicuous by its absence. That is a big
infrastructural constraint from Water Governance point of view. Listed below
are the highlights WCS in Maharashtra. The list is indicative & not
exhaustive.
(1) IMS is an open channel system which, by its very nature, is difficult to
control & regulate.
(2) IMS is an upstream controlled system. Such a system, by design, works
as per the logic of supply side management & is operator friendly. Here, the
operator means officials of WRD. Participatory Irrigation Management is, not
provided for in the design.
(3) IMS is basically designed for flow irrigation purposes. Lift irrigation & nonirrigation have not been considered in the original design. But IMS, in
practice, is used for all purposes.
(4) Actual capacity of canals & DISNET is significantly less than design
capacity; defective construction & lack of maintenance & repairs (M & R)
being the main reasons.
(5) Actual conveyance losses of canals & DISNET are far more than generally
expected. Overall Project Efficiency (ratio of water received at root zone &
water released at canal head) is hardly 20-25% in most of the systems.
(6) Less carrying capacity & more losses make mockery of irrigation
schedules. Timely & predictable water supply remains on paper. Inordinate
delays & grossly inadequate water supply inevitably lead to water conflicts.
53

(7) Gates of different type & size at strategic locations in canals & DISNET
are of vital importance to control & regulate water supply. But most of the
gates are either out of order or simply missing. Poor M & R, tampering &
vandalism are common.
(8) Gates at present are cumbersome to operate. Their manual operation
limits flexibility of canal operation. In absence of real time data, gate
operation becomes ad-hoc. There is hardly any water level- & dischargecontrol.
(9) Measuring devices are generally not provided at the head of canals &
DISNET. Wrong design, improper location, defective construction & poor M
&R of measuring devices and moreover, no reliable staff to record
measurements are some of the features of the volumetric supply. Both
officers & influential irrigators simply dont like the idea of water
measurement for well known reasons.
Even if the WCS does not exist as described above, WRD used to religiously
publish Water Audit, Benchmarking & Irrigation Status Reports regularly. The
author of this paper sent some objections in 2011. WRD did not
respond.

54

Poor quality work at Gosekhurd Canals, Vidarbha Photo: Tehelka


Story of crop area measurement is similar to that of water
measurement. It is not being measured. On the background of Irrigation
scam, white paper & SIT, though GOM published its Economic Survey, it
does not give statistics of irrigation. That is just Not Available-NA!
In view of above, one is compelled to agree with following two well known
comments which have serious implications for Water Governance
(i)

There

is

no

management

in

irrigation,

its

only

administration.
(ii)

Whatever irrigation takes place, it is not the result of any

planning as such. Its irrigation by accident.


Water Laws Maharashtra has enacted several Irrigation Acts. But those are
not being implemented. Maharashtra Water Resources Regulatory Authority
(MWRRA), the first of its kind in India, has proved to be a failed institute. It
has simply lost an opportunity to streamline water governance in the State in
spite of having quasi-judicial powers. Lawlessness has become a hallmark of
water sector in Maharashtra. Rule of Law is WANTED!

55

Sugarcane growing in Solapur at the height of 2013 drought, April 2013.


Photo: SANDRP
Water Governance Constraints listed above lead to mismanagement in water
sector which in turn gives rise to water conflicts. Absence of Rule of Law
increases both number & severity of water conflicts. Given the situation,
water

governance

then

becomes

virtually

impossible.

Good

water

governance is possible only if the infrastructure in water sector is improved &


modernized and water laws are scrupulously implemented. Most importantly,
when there is bottom up participatory process with key role for the local
people. Implementation of water laws depends on political will & awareness
amongst water users.
Its time to switch over from administration to management in
water sector & say good bye to irrigation by accident.
Till then good water governance may have to wait!

CASE STUDY
56

Maharashtra: Gosikhurd project has water but no canals


to reach farmers
Almost two-third of the 85 villagers who are project affected have expressed unhappiness over
the package.
Written by Shubhangi Khapre | Pauni (bhandara) | Updated: December 14, 2014 1:39 pm
At the end of 30 years with investment of Rs 7,984 crore the Gosikhurd National Irrigation
Project remains non-operational in absence of canals thus affecting several lakh farmers across
2.5 lakh hectares of land in three districts of Bhandara, Nagpur and Chandrapur in Vidarbha
region of Maharashtra.
As one criss-cross the sprawling river Wainganga swelling with crystal clear water that has
submerged more than 35 villages, big question that remains unanswered is who has benefitted
from the project?
The leafless trees, temple shikara in some patches are the tell tale sings of villages once which
stood in the vicinity. The villagers have shifted but unhappy.
Almost two-third of the 85 villagers who are project affected have expressed unhappiness over
the package. And, despite huge expenditure the incomplete canals to carry the water to the end
57

users have not helped the farmers who cultivate paddy, cotton, soyabean and tur dal in the
region.
The chief minister Devendra Fadnavis has directed the irrigation ministry to take up the project
on priority promising to acquire additional Rs 8,000 crore budget from the centre following cost
escalation over the years.
Fadnavis said, In a time bound programme the hurdles related to rehabilitation of villages
complete with basic amenities and alternate sources of employment would be worked out in
coming months.
He also assured, There is water in the dam. But in absence of adequate channels it cannot be
reached to fields thus affecting the irrigation potential in three districts of Bhandara, Chandrapur
and Nagpur.
Fadnavis said, The governments priority is to enhance the irrigation potential across state
which is mere 18 per cent at the moment.
Notwithstanding the cost escalation from Rs 380 crore (1984-85) to Rs 16,167 crore (2014), the
irrigation potential creates at present is only 20 per cent.
The minister for irrigation Girish Mahajan admits, Almost 50 per cent of the work including
rehabilitation of villages which have been acquired for the project remains incomplete.
The project which was given the national status in year 2009 is entirely centre sponsored. The
state have to just invest ten per cent of the over all cost.
Fadnavis has urged the centre to allocate the remaining Rs 8000 crore to expedite the project
work and also rehabilitation of the villages to maximize the operations that would benefit 2.5
lakh hectares of land spread across Bhandara (81,697 hectares); Nagpur (22,997 hectares);
Chandrapur (1,43, 106 hectares).

58

The local workers in the region are fighting for the villagers cause. As Hansa Khobragade (a
local worker) said, The villagers received financial package and shifted to alternative site which
are still not-developed.
Some are also seeking alternative means of employment, to compensate them, said a
senior BJP (MLA) Ramchandra Avasare.
For the year 2014-15, government has set aside Rs 584 crore. Till, September 2014 the amount
spent is Rs 191 crore.

BIBLIOGRAPHY
indianexpress.com india
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Irrigation_
www.yourarticlelibrary.com/irrigation/canals-irrigation-in.../21102/
https://books.google.co.in/books/.../Managing_Canal

Farmers' suicides in India


Economic problems of Indian agriculture - Google Books
https://books.google.co.in/books/.../Economic_problems_of_Indian_agri.

Times of India article

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